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Old 08-25-2011, 02:02 PM   #1
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Quick Question for LEO's

I was just wondering if you all feel it is O.K. to go and sit down for a meal during your shift and get the meal for free. The reason I ask this is that my wife constantly see our local LEO's at resturants eating for free (she is the health inspector for our county). Although the owners of the resturants always offer her free meals, it is unethical for her to take them up on the offer. I was wondering if this happens all the time or is this the way it is around here? I would care for your feedback.
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Old 08-25-2011, 02:04 PM   #2
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I don't know about LEO's, but most restaurants I go to on duty for Fire give good discounts. But free, I don't know.
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Old 08-25-2011, 02:06 PM   #3
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Depends on Department policy.
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Old 08-25-2011, 02:12 PM   #4
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Don't do it! Ethical issue that can bite you later....
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Old 08-25-2011, 02:14 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by was209 View Post
Don't do it! Ethical issue that can bite you later....

like what? what do you mean?

if i was offered a free meal, i would take it but i wouldnt go in expecting it.

if i owned a restraunt and i wasnt cutting it close on cash i would offer police offers/fire fighters/emts free meals. or a discount.

JMO though
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Old 08-25-2011, 02:18 PM   #6
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I'm not a LEO but have them in my family...
I don't think it's right for them to take free meals. Discount or maybe free soda or coffee with meal, ok maybe that's alright.
On the other hand, if I were a restaurant owner, I'd probably offer something free because I'd be very happy to keep LEOs around my store.
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Old 08-25-2011, 02:27 PM   #7
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I think my wifes issue with it is that they will only eat in only the places that they know they will get free food ( not that any of them need it ) lol. Heck we have to go out of the county and eat so this issue would not arise, and she dont want to give the impression that she favours one resturant over another. Plus we can eat in PEACE and no one asks work questions
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Old 08-25-2011, 02:27 PM   #8
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Ethical issues arise when someone who gave the officer free food or whatever gets out of a ticket, arrest, ect where someone that hasn't given the officer anything gets a ticket. That's a real good way to get fired or cause a lawsuit. Most departments don't let their guys and gals accept gratuities.
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Old 08-25-2011, 02:29 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EdubSam View Post
Ethical issues arise when someone who gave the officer free food or whatever gets out of a ticket, arrest, ect where someone that hasn't given the officer anything gets a ticket. That's a real good way to get fired or cause a lawsuit. Most departments don't let their guys and gals accept gratuities.
The most my wife would take is a glass of water.
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Old 08-25-2011, 07:48 PM   #10
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Our department policy states that you shall not accept more than a 50% discount IIRC....however most gas stations give coffee/fountain drinks for free. Using common sense is the best policy....abusing a discount is the quickest way to get it taken away.
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Old 08-25-2011, 07:55 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EdubSam View Post
Ethical issues arise when someone who gave the officer free food or whatever gets out of a ticket, arrest, ect where someone that hasn't given the officer anything gets a ticket. That's a real good way to get fired or cause a lawsuit. Most departments don't let their guys and gals accept gratuities.
This

Tho sometimes it's not an option...There are several restaurants within my jurisdiction and assigned region

Most of these offer discounts or free food and occasionally time dictates which restaurant i eat at

For example, Taco Bell offers free food to anyone in uniform on duty...I ONLY eat there if its after 10pm and I'm dying of starvation

Chic-Fil-A offers free food from 9-10pm when other places have already closed

Due to various reasons, the other late night places are no-go

I ALWAYS offer to pay, even if I know it's free...and I've tried leaving cash on the counter but it gets returned to me

Dayshift, obviously there are more options and I can avoid the free places, but night shift is difficult
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Old 08-25-2011, 09:15 PM   #12
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I always try to pay. There is a restaurant by our district office that is always swarmed with LEO's and Firefighters and they give food free or very discounted. I just make sure I leave a tip equal to the total of the order. I was confused the first time I went through a Taco Bell drive through and they told me at the second window that I didn't owe anything...
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Old 08-25-2011, 11:21 PM   #13
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I personally don't have an issue with officers accepting a free meal. We don't have a policy reguarding the issue other than no bars and no more than 3 cars at the resaraunt. We have thousands of places to eat in orlando. Police officers in this area work 12hr shifts and are hard working. most officers take between 150 and 200 calls for service each month with an additional 100 plus traffic contacts. Time to eat is at a premium. Most places love to have officers in thier restaraunt. provides the touristers a sense of security in an unfamilair town. Plus we give out directions most of the time and it's cheap security. touristers also think if the police eat there it must be good and safe. however, as with most departments we have officers that abuse the priviledge or leave crappy tips. The free food goes away. Most places here realize that and don't offer free food but discount heavily. I never expect a free meal and never eat where I get one. I always leave a tip on what the bill should be and not what it is then, i add a couple more bucs. Our rule of thumb is always have enough money to pay full fare when you go out to eat or bring your food. For me my food rotting in my car, even in a cooler in the hot florida sun after 12hrs is not appetizing. wether or not an officer gives someone a ticket or not is up to the officer. There is nothing that says we have to give a ticket or don't have to give a ticket, reguardless of weather or not a meal was given or not. Quota's are illegal. Nobody can tell an officer to give someone a ticket or not.
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Old 08-25-2011, 11:25 PM   #14
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i pay for my food, but i like the discounts on clothes and getting into clubs.
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Old 08-25-2011, 11:29 PM   #15
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I used to work at a resturaunt and my manager told us to always comp the cops meals and fire fighters too. I think its cool. I have no issue with it. There is a sub station behind the resturaunt and they always send a car over to watch the closer take the deposite to the bank.
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Old 08-26-2011, 05:31 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yotamikez View Post
I used to work at a resturaunt and my manager told us to always comp the cops meals and fire fighters too. I think its cool. I have no issue with it. There is a sub station behind the resturaunt and they always send a car over to watch the closer take the deposite to the bank.
Thanks Bro. It is much appreciated!!!!
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Old 08-26-2011, 05:40 PM   #17
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I'm not LEO, but I don't have issues with it either. They put their lives on the line for us, so showing a bit of gratitude in that manner is nice. It also means, for the store owner, that any potential thieves will move on to the next place since it's an establishment frequented by the popo. If they were constantly getting $100 meals, then that might be another story. Good question, though.
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Old 01-16-2012, 08:32 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by meatman View Post
I was just wondering if you all feel it is O.K. to go and sit down for a meal during your shift and get the meal for free. The reason I ask this is that my wife constantly see our local LEO's at resturants eating for free (she is the health inspector for our county). Although the owners of the resturants always offer her free meals, it is unethical for her to take them up on the offer. I was wondering if this happens all the time or is this the way it is around here? I would care for your feedback.
It was and is against my Departments policy but it really wasn't worth getting into a discussion with the cashier etc. at the cafe. My training Officers taught me to leave money on the table to cover not only the meal, but the tip as well. What the waitress decided to do with the money was not my concern.

Ray
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Old 01-16-2012, 08:47 PM   #19
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not police but fd

my fd has no guidelines or stipulations to discounts, some of the members abuse it and go to places asking for one or just go to the places that offer one

my personal view and if i ever become a company officer the rule that will apply to my crew is dont go expecting a dicount and you dont ask for one, however if it is offered to you and isnt, too generous accept it, if its "beyond acceptable means" politely decline
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Old 01-16-2012, 08:57 PM   #20
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Seen them eat "free of charge" but then leave a hefty tip so guess it evens out
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